Chapter 9: Prisoners / by Anthony Morales

 

Picking up where we left off, the adventurers are in the middle of a standoff with Kyrsah the Yuan-Ti captain. She holds an unconscious Pip, the gnome druid, with her sword at his throat and demands their surrender. Valken the wizard, lies unconscious not far from the Yuan-Ti. The adventurers, not wanting their companion to die or stay on a flaming boat, surrender. Everyone, including the remaining sailors, throw down their weapons. 

Lights approach from the East, the direction the villagers fled, but it’s more Yuan-Ti and they’ve got the villagers, Salvador and Adahn in chains. The prisoners look weary and bloody. Everyone is stripped of weapons, armor and any possessions. Pip and Valken are thrown into a cart with several unconscious villagers. Macro, Leon and the remaining sailors are added to the chain gang, Macro and Leon placed behind a hulking dragonborn. Everyone is lead away to the ruined Yuan-Ti city. 

On the road the dragonborn, a paladin named Rohgar, heals the clearly hurt Macro. A few hours into the trip, a roar flies overhead. Salvador mumbles something about a pack of manticore to Adahn. Rohgar takes advantage of the distraction to breath a cone of frost onto his manacles and frees himself but keeps in his place in line waiting for a chance to do something. 

Pip slowly awakens to find himself under a pile of bodies. With one eye he spies a Yuan-Ti escort and casts Druidcraft to place the smell of a skunk on himself. The Yuan-Ti smells the foul odor, thinks one of the prisoners must have died and throws Pip, the smelly one, off the cart and into the forest. Once the procession is a few yards away, Pip begins to follow. 

A starving manticore, incensed by the smell of blood and fear, has been tracking the caravan and was lying in wait on one side of the road. When Pip approaches nearby it roars and taunts the gnome, promising a quick death if he gives up.  Pip casts produce flame as a distraction, the manticore pounces onto the flame with a roar. Pip runs towards the caravan. The furious manticore chases. 

The prisoners quake in terror and attempt to break their bonds at roar of the manticore.  Yuan-Ti draw weapons and move towards the sound of the charging monstrosity. The manticore turns its attention to the more threatening Yuan-Ti, determined not to leave empty-handed. In the confusion, Adahn breaks free from his manacles and darts to the nearest Yuan-Ti. He kicks the Yuan-Ti in the elbow and catches the Yuan-Ti's sword when it flies from his hand and slashes him. A full blown battle breaks out. Adahn, Rohgar, Valken and Macro eventually disarm and kill two Yuan-Ti near them, take their weapons, free Leon, Salvador and a few sailors, and run off into the forest. The Yuan-Ti drive off the manticore and round up fleeing prisoners who are still nearby. Salvador leads the escapees deep into the forest.